Wilbur Townsend joined Motu in early 2016 after finishing a Masters degree in economics and undergraduate degrees in philosophy and mathematics. For his Masters he produced two pieces of research: one asking whether legalising medical marijuana affects crime rates (it doesn’t), the other asking whether past employment affected the probability of future employment (it does). That latter research was supervised by Motu’s Dean Hyslop, and he will be continuing his research into dynamic models of employment while at Motu. As a student, Motu awarded Wilbur the Sir Frank Holmes Prize for undergraduate econometrics.
Wilbur left Motu in June 2017 to become a Predoctoral Fellow at Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, working with Raj Chetty on inequality. He currently holds a Predoctoral Fellowship in Harvard University's economics department, where he studies the relationship between social capital and economic mobility. He starts his PhD at Harvard in 2019.